While we have advanced in technology, society seems to have receded in regard to etiquette. Today many men view etiquette as irrelevant and a sign of weakness. However, many movie star icons have displayed gentlemanly characteristics and it is not unusual for men to wish to emulate them: likeable characters that are cool, calm and collected - especially under the most difficult and demanding circumstances.
"Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage". - Theodore Roosevelt.
Once upon a time Gentlemen were admired for
their principles and manner, today we seem to admire the outward appearance,
the lifestyle and image. Here’s the twist – the admired appearance of a real
Gentleman comes from within - we do not need to act macho to be tough; the
strength of a Gentleman is his virtues. Good etiquette does not a Gentlemen make – many women when
first being courted have etiquette ignored by a man or it is initially
displayed only to fade away after a few dates. Either way there is a lack of respect
displayed by the man. Etiquette applied religiously on a habitual basis becomes
second nature and before you know it, you come across as suave.
Applying etiquette into our daily life is
one of the most significant things we can do in our journey to becoming The
Complete Gentleman. It requires us to act from our principles; it is the way
to demonstrate common courtesy and consideration to everyone; and will assist us in
almost every area of our lives: family, friends, work, play and love.
Displaying etiquette shows others the high esteem we have for them and ourselves.
It has been said that good manners are the
oil which lubricates the engine of society. Some view this as the necessity to
say nice things, even when not meant, in order to climb to the top in business
or society. Although this couldn’t be further from the purpose of good manners
– many consequently feel the application of etiquette to be empty. However, for
true students of etiquette this continued effort to learn shows the
respect and consideration we have for others. Thus true etiquette is anything
but hollow for both the applicator and receivers.
us to interact with people with whom we wouldn't necessarily choose to.
We have all, at one time or another, been exposed to someone who meets
this criterion: the boorish partner of someone we are related to or
work, play and socialize with etc. Here etiquette provides the facility
for meeting all people equally and instills constraints, preventing
inappropriate comments. The focus is aimed at ensuring all relationships
are managed to avoid conflict which might prove damaging socially.
may not have fully developed your inward game yet, but you are certainly are on
your way if you seek to habitually apply etiquette:
Excellence is an art won by training and
habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we
rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle.
Gentlemen, etiquette is dying and it is up to us to keep it alive. If not, the current approach of casual living will destroy it and, all will be lost. The non application of etiquette is not ignorance but arrogance, self absorption and laziness - the inability to acknowledge other people upon this planet.
Animals have developed through the evolution of their
bodies while man, in body form, has remained unchanged for around 50,000
years. Instead, humans have advanced through cerebral development - by improving
intellect and thus building civilizations. Being civilized is a complex
arrangement and a difficult concept to achieve but the essence is to improve
relationships between people to make life easier. The fundamental aspects are
those of mutual support, co-operation, respect and organisation to achieve
greater things than if left in isolation. We know these are difficult goals to
reach; we only need to look historically at the wars and conflicts littering
the ongoing development of our species.
For man to live together in civilised harmony it is not surprising to find laws, rules and other structured arrangements (i.e. etiquette) coming into formation. It is useful to understand the origin and intentions of such rules so that we can apply them in the correct manner, as appropriate. A Gentleman acquaints himself with this information and lives by the rules of civilization. No matter sometimes, how old the rules are, many are timeless and can be universally applied regardless. Perhaps we should venture even further: if we are unable to understand the reason for a rule of etiquette, we apply it anyway!
"Civility is but a desire to receive civility, and to be esteemed politely". - Francois de la Rochefoucauld.